Palms to Crucifixion

Call to Worship responsive

In the beginning,
God took dust of the earth,
and breathed us to life.

God called to our ancestors,
“Return to my ways.”

Confident in us,
God adapted and created,
new ways to reach us.

God called a babe,
of Mary’s womb:
Jesus breathed in God.

Jesus taught and journeyed.
Jesus loved and showed us how.

Arriving in Jerusalem,
we celebrated with palms.
We could taste the beloved kingdom.

But by the end of the week,
of betrayals, trials, & denials:
Crucifixion had come.

We are a fickle people.
We are a people who don’t get it.
But God still dreams big for us.

We wave palms,
and we whip and mock.
We even hammer nails out of fear.

But God is present in the Alpha,
and the Omega.

God is with us as we wave palms,
and as we crucify Christ.

Alpha & Omega, Beginning & End,
and in the now,
God’s love shall overcome. Amen!

Suggested Hymn Alpha & Omega #102 (Sing! Prayer & Praise hymnal)

Posted in Call to Worship, Holy Week, John, John 12, John 12:12-13, John 19:16b-22, Palm Sunday, Palm/Passion Sunday, Passion Sunday, Uncategorized

Leave & Turn

Leave your homes. Leave your worries. Let go of blame and hostility. Set them down, & focus on the Source of all love & justice.

We turn in this hour to the Source of life, the essence of our existence. We focus upon the love that journeys with us. 

[Moment of Silence.]

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Posted in Call to Worship, Uncategorized

Confession of the Sin of Blaming Pilate, Temple Leaders, & Everyone Else

*Confession of Sins & Assurance of Grace

We fear new ways.
We fear giving up the status quo.
And Pilate has Jesus whipped. 

Open our eyes, Lord.
Open our eyes, Lord.

We think we know best.
We reinterpret what your clearly teach.
We dress up Jesus in a crown of thorns and mock Christ’s kingship.

Open our eyes, Lord.
Open our eyes, Lord.

We know our earthly ways fail us.
We yearn for ways that restore, heal, & usher in a world of love & justice.
But we get scared and shout “Crucify!”

Open our eyes, Lord.
Open our eyes, Lord.

When we see the mess we’ve made of our world we turn to blame.
We blame Judas. We blame Pilate. We blame the Temple leaders.

We blame one another.
We blame one another.

We confess we have sinned against ourselves, against one another, and against you. Open our eyes, Lord.
Forgive us our sins. 

And still Christ loves and offers grace.
Open our eyes to be loving and grace-filled like you, Lord. Amen.

*Suggested Hymn to Follow Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord (#37 Chalice Praise)

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Posted in Confession of Sin & Assurance, John, John 19, John 19:1-16a, Uncategorized

Worship in Earnestness & Humility

Come. Worship in earnestness. Worship with humility and commitment to grow, to be transformed, to become the people God creates you to be.

We gather as your people united in our desire to become all that you dream. Amen.

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Posted in Call to Worship, John, Uncategorized

But Jesus Offers a Different Way

Frightened and worried about loss of power, comfort, and the known, leaders in Jerusalem and Rome put Jesus on trial.

When the world became scared,
it lashed out against Jesus.

In our journey to Jerusalem, changes and the unknown can frighten us as well.

When we become scared,
we sometimes lash out or hide.

We yearn for what was, what is known.

But Jesus offers a different way.

His kingdom, the realm of God unfolding upon earth, originates in the great mystery.

Jesus comes into the world to testify to the truth of expansive love and justice.

Let us pray,

Be among us this hour. In the darkness, point us toward the hope of the time to come when we live in the beloved kin_dom. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, John, John 18, John 18:28-40, Uncategorized

Who are you?

“Who are you?”, they asked Jesus.
“I Am,” he replied.

They followed Jesus.
Peter and the others journeyed with him from place to place.

You will deny me before the cock crows.
“Never,” replied Simon Peter.

They came for Jesus.
And Peter turned to violence.

“Who are you?”, they asked Jesus.
“I Am,” he replied.

“Are you a disciple of Jesus?” they asked.
No, he said.

Who are you? Are you a follower?
Three times Peter denies who he is.

“Who are you?” the world asks us.

Let us pray,

Forgive us. We claim to follow Jesus but act in ways counter to his teachings. Rather than share, we hoard. Rather than love, we are quick to anger. Rather than forgive, we hold onto our hurt. 

Rather than risk to love and strive for justice, we back down or rationalize. Move our hearts and hands to respond as followers of Jesus, who always responds in love and in solidarity with the oppressed, hurting, and poor. Amen.

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Posted in Call to Worship, Confession of Sin & Assurance, John, John 18, John 18:12-27, New Testament, Uncategorized

Whatever Our Shape, Abilities, or Struggles

We are created by God!
We gather assured of God’s love and dream for humanity.

We are created in God’s image.
We gather assured that whatever our shape, our abilities, or our struggles, we reflect the image of God.

Our mental or physical characteristics are never punishment for sin. Never. God created each of us out of love and hope.
Within you, within me, within all people, the essence of God can be found.

Let us pray:
Creating One, we are humbled by your confidence in us. Encourage us as we strive to manifest who you dream we can be. Amen. 

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, John, John 9, John 9:1-41, narrative lectionary, Uncategorized
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All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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